SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R    E D I T I O N

Transporters go on strike throughout the state
Passengers inconvenienced

Jammu, December 27
Normal life was disrupted throughout the day due to one-day strike Youths travel by a horse cart as passenger transport remained off the roads due to the transporters’ strike in Jammu on Monday called by the All J&K Transport Welfare Association. They were demanding the scrapping of the 100 per cent increase in passenger tax and the withdrawal of criminal cases against drivers involved in road accidents in the state.

Youths travel by a horse cart as passenger transport remained off the roads due to the transporters’ strike in Jammu on Monday

University VC flayed for ‘ignoring’ students’ issues
Jammu, December 27
Office-bearers of the Jammu Youth Forum and members of the National Secular Forum (NSF) today criticised the Vice-Chancellor of Jammu University for ignoring the issues of the students. According to a statement issued here, both organisations appealed to Governor NN Vohra to intervene in the matter.

Top Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in Doda
Jammmu, December 27
With the killing of one of the oldest surviving militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen in a surgical operation in the Bitiyas area of Doda district today, the security forces wiped out an entire module of the terror outfit from the Gandoh area.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

Pandit Prem Nath Bhat remembered
Jammu, December 27
The 21st martyrdom day of Pandit Prem Nath Bhat was observed as Chetna Divas by the Pandit Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust here today.

More power cuts as Valley freezes
Srinagar, December 27
A partially frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar on Monday.The Kashmir valley has been reeling under intense dry cold conditions, while the freezing temperature of minus 6.6°C, lowest during this season, was recorded here last night. The tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam recorded the minimum of minus 7°C last night. A harsh winter has also resulted in more power cuts.

A partially frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar on Monday. PTI

Another teacher in paper controversy
Srinagar, December 27
After two professors faced charges, one for setting up an alleged anti-establishment question paper and the other for an “obscene” paper, yet another teacher has created a controversy by setting a question paper asking questions about “selfish leaders” who divide people on the basis of religion.

102 ultras active in region: IG
Jammu, December 27
The IG, Jammu zone, Dilbagh Singh said today that the operations launched by the state police to curb militancy in the Jammu region had proved successful this year and only 102 militants were surviving.
Students of Indra Public Higher Secondary School participate in the annual day function of the school at the Abhinav Theatre in Jammu on Monday.
Students of Indra Public Higher Secondary School participate in the annual day function of the school at the Abhinav Theatre in Jammu on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Arms seized in Rajouri
Jammu, December 27
Security forces seized a rich haul of arms and ammunition from the Kathunia area of Rajouri district today. Official sources said acting upon reliable intelligence inputs the Infantry Territorial Army and troops of 38 Rashtriya Rifles of the Romeo Force launched a joint search operation along with the police in the Kathunia area in Rajouri. During the search of the thick forest area, the troops seized a huge cache of arms, ammunition and warlike stores from a hideout covered with foliage.

Infighting in Congress intensifies
Pro-Soz leaders camp in Delhi to counter rivals
Jammu, December 27
After maintaining silence for quite some time, the warring factions in the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) have intensified their campaigns against each other.

Lecturers’ forum to work on Prof Shaan’s contributions
Jammu, December 27
The All J&K Plus 2 Lecturers’ Forum has constituted the Prof Jaswant Singh Shaan Memorial Committee to work on the contributions and sacrifices of the leader of Plus 2 lecturers.
Members of the All J&K R.E.T Teachers Forum stage a protest in Jammu on Monday.
Members of the All J&K R.E.T Teachers Forum stage a protest in Jammu on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Bad weather hits air, rail services
Jammu, December 27
Rail and air traffic were disrupted today as dense fog enveloped most parts of north India. The movement of trains was also affected by the agitation launched by Gujjars in Rajasthan.

Gujjar leader joins BJP
Jammu, December 27
Gujjar leader Choudhary Noor Mohammed, an active Congress worker from Gandoh-Balessa tehsil of Doda district, joined the BJP in the presence of state BJP president Shamsher Singh Manhas and other leaders at the party headquarters here today.

Militants recruiting women in Kashmir
Sopore (Baramulla), December 27 Militant groups active in north Kashmir, especially the Lashkar-e-Toiba, are recruiting a large number of women as overground workers to help them carry out militancy-related activities in the area.

NCC inculcates discipline, camaraderie: Governor
Jammu, December 27
Describing the NCC as the premier national organisation for imparting defence-oriented training to the country’s youth, the Governor, NN Vohra, said the organisation inculcated discipline and esprit de corps among the youth and enabled them to shape their careers.

Tributes paid to socialist leader
Jammu, December 27
Rich tributes were paid to veteran socialist leader late Surendra Mohan at a condolence meeting yesterday jointly organised by the Janata Dal (S), Janata Dal (U), Socialist Front, Samajwadi Party and the Yusuf Meherally Centre, J&K Unit, under the presidentship of Balraj Puri, a renowned socialist.

Natrang honours two artistes
Jammu, December 27
Natrang honoured two artistes Arvind Anand and Vijay Sharma with the Lifetime Achievement award. While Arvind Anand won the award for his contribution to acting, Vijay Sharma was honoured for his contribution as an offstage worker of Natrang.

Six snatchers held, stolen items recovered
Jammu, December 27
The Jammu police today claimed to have busted a gang of snatchers and arrested six persons active in criminal activities in the city. The police has also recovered some stolen items from their possession.






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Transporters go on strike throughout the state
Passengers inconvenienced
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Normal life was disrupted throughout the day due to one-day strike called by the All J&K Transport Welfare Association. They were demanding the scrapping of the 100 per cent increase in passenger tax and the withdrawal of criminal cases against drivers involved in road accidents in the state.

Passengers travel by a load carrier in Srinagar.
Passengers travel by a load carrier in Srinagar. Photo: Inderjeet Singh, Amin War 

All private transport vehicles, including trucks, long-route buses, minibuses, auto-rickshaws and private cabs remained off the roads in support of the strike call. The administration plied buses of the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) to ferry people in the city and other areas too, but that had a limited impact.

Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims were the worst hit, as hundreds of them reaching Jammu via trains were stranded at the Jammu Tawi Railway Station here as they had virtually no means to reach the cave shrine.

“We reached here in the morning and after waiting for almost three hours succeeded in hiring a SRTC bus for Katra. If the transporters have called for the strike, the administration should arrange some vehicles for the pilgrims coming from far-flung areas,” said Sham Lal Gupta, a pilgrim from Delhi. A group of pilgrims also held a protest against the state government for its alleged failure in providing an adequate number of vehicles for the devotees for reaching Katra.

Local residents also had a tough time as they couldn’t reach their destinations on time. Even the roads wore a deserted look. The misery of the commuters meant a windfall gain for some auto-rickshaw drivers who charged exorbitant fares from passengers. The fare of an auto-rickshaw from the railway station to the bus stand was about Rs 30 per passenger in a sharing auto-rickshaw, which is normally Rs 5-10 for the same distance. The situation was also similar in Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Poonch and other districts of the region. As per reports, all private transport vehicles remained off the roads there too.

Meanwhile, the transporters association took out a protest march in the city. The vehicular traffic remained suspended in one part of the Tawi Bridge in the city, as the protesters took out a march from the Bikram Chowk to the Press Club. “We are demanding the scrapping of passenger tax, which has been increased 100 per cent recently and the withdrawal of cases registered against drivers in connection with accidents under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the RPC,” said Vijay Kumar, a spokesman for the transporters association. He also warned that if the government did not accept their demands in a short period, they would go on an indefinite strike.

However, a senior official of the state government said they had recently ordered to register cases against the drivers under Section 307, as most of these were indulging in rash driving.

Srinagar: Passenger transporters observed a strike across the Kashmir division today in protest against the increase in taxes, rise in fuel prices, stringent laws for erring drivers and lack of facilities at bus stands. All buses, minibuses, taxis and auto-rickshaws remained off the roads, inconveniencing commuters while the transporters blocked the movement of private and official vehicles at different places here.

The passenger transporters’ strike caused difficulties to government employees, many of whom could not reach their offices due to the lack of transport. Students of colleges and other educational institutions and those appearing in various examinations also faced difficulties, as they could not get adequate transport due to the strike. Though the government had pressed into service a number of buses of the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) at various routes, the commuters faced a lot of trouble due to insufficient transport means. At many places, passengers were seen travelling on the rooftops of the buses, endangering their lives in intense cold conditions.

The transporters enforcing a chakka jam blocked the movement of vehicular traffic at various places around the city here. Traffic remained blocked for some time at the bypass at Bemina on the city outskirts here this afternoon and there were reports of stone throwing in the area to enforce the blockade. The movement of traffic was also blocked for some time at Pattan, 27 km from here, on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. The movement of passenger vehicles was also disrupted on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, though some taxis carrying passengers left here early this morning for Jammu.

According to Bashir Ahmad Math, president of the Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association (KTWA), there was a complete strike of the transporters in the Valley today. The chakka jam was observed in protest against the increase in taxes, rise in fuel prices, tough laws and the lack of facilities for passengers at different bus stands. The association demanded an increase in the passenger fares saying the transporters in the Kashmir valley had already faced the brunt of strikes and curfew restrictions for the past about five months.

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University VC flayed for ‘ignoring’ students’ issues
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Office-bearers of the Jammu Youth Forum and members of the National Secular Forum (NSF) today criticised the Vice-Chancellor of Jammu University for ignoring the issues of the students. According to a statement issued here, both organisations appealed to Governor NN Vohra to intervene in the matter.

Sandeep Singh Chib, state president of the youth forum, alleged that the Vice-Chancellor was not taking interest in the problems being faced by the students of the Directorate of Distance Education (DDE). He said though the two years of the Vice-Chancellor had passed, nothing had been done for the betterment of the university.

Chib alleged that out-of-turn promotions had been given to some of the officials, who were holding high positions in the university. The youth forum appealed to the Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellor to hold an inquiry into the matter and take strict action against the alleged mismanagement in the DDE.

Meanwhile, the NSF, university unit, has decided to hold a protest on December 29 against the university authorities for the alleged mismanagement in the university.

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Top Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in Doda
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammmu, December 27
With the killing of one of the oldest surviving militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen in a surgical operation in the Bitiyas area of Doda district today, the security forces wiped out an entire module of the terror outfit from the Gandoh area.

The security forces shot dead Ghulam Nabi Rather, alias Gama, 28, one of the oldest surviving militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen in the Bitiyas area near Gandoh, this evening. The slain ultra was the district commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen. “Gama was active in the area of Gandoh in the hilly district since 1998 but today we succeeded in eliminating him in a surgical operation,” said an Army spokesperson. He was hiding in a house where our troops laid a cordon around 2.15 pm this afternoon and without causing any collateral damage we neutralised him around 4.30 pm, he added.

An AK-56 assault rifle and two magazines were recovered from the site of the encounter, said the spokesperson. Claiming the killing of Gama as a major success for the security forces, he said the information about Gama was provided by the local people, leading to a successful operation. “With the killing of Gama today the entire module of the Hizbul Mujahideen was wiped out from the Gandoh region,” he added.

The recent arrests of four Hizbul Mujahideen ultras from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and Dehradun, where they had been masquerading as labourers, enabled the troops to wipe out the Hizbul Mujahideen from the region, Army sources told The Tribune.

“On their disclosures we smashed four hideouts in Doda district and we recovered huge consignments of arms and ammunition,” they added.

“We also neutralised two accomplices of Gama in a cave on the upper reaches of Gandoh on November 28,” the sources said.

Acting upon their (arrested ultras) disclosures the troops had successfully eliminated Imtiaz Hussain and Tausif Ahmed, both Hizbul ultras, who had moved to a cave in the upper reaches to escape the security forces, they added.

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Pandit Prem Nath Bhat remembered
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
The 21st martyrdom day of Pandit Prem Nath Bhat was observed as Chetna Divas by the Pandit Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust here today.

Tributes were paid to Pandit Bhat, who was a leading advocate of Anantnag district, visionary and leading columnist. Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services and Sports RS Chib was the chief guest on the occasion.

Paying rich tributes to Pandit Bhat, Chib described him as a true secularist, who practised human love, kindness and communal brotherhood in his day-to-day life. He lauded the role of the Kashmiri Pandit community as the torchbearer of Indian nationalism in Kashmir, giving the proof of the composite culture and secular ethos of the state and the country as a whole.

Chib said the coalition government in the state was fully aware of and concerned about the problems being faced by the Kashmiri migrants. “Various steps have been taken to mitigate their sufferings, while more steps will be taken in the due course of time,” he added.

G. Vasudev, secretary of the National Resources Development Vivekananda Kendra, KanyaKumari, presided over the function. Vasudev recalled Pandit Bhat’s services to the Vivekananda Kendra, Nagdandi in Anantnag.

Two martyrs, Ashok Qazi and Sushil Bhat, were honoured posthumously on the occasion and their family members were presented with shawls, certificates of honour and a token cash relief by Chib on behalf of the Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust.

Advocate BS Slathia, president of the Bar Association, Jammu, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

He also paid tributes to Pandit Bhat and other martyrs.

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More power cuts as Valley freezes
Ehsan Fazili/TNS

Srinagar, December 27
The Kashmir valley has been reeling under intense dry cold conditions, while the freezing temperature of minus 6.6°C, lowest during this season, was recorded here last night. The tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam recorded the minimum of minus 7°C last night. A harsh winter has also resulted in more power cuts.

The weatherman has predicted mainly dry and cold weather conditions during the next 48 hours, while light rainfall is expected during Thursday and Friday in some areas of the Kashmir valley. The maximum temperature recorded here today was 10°C, while Gulmarg and Pahalgam recorded 4.6°C and 9 °C, respectively.

Most of the water bodies, having lower water levels during winter months, were frozen due to the subzero temperatures over the past many days. The peripheries of the Dal Lake also continues to be in a frozen state though there is some respite during the day when the temperature rises.

The water level in the Jhelum and the lakes in the Kashmir valley during winter remains low.

The Valley has been reeling under drastic power cuts over the past few months due to a decline in power generation as well as an increase in its demand across the state. To overcome the problem of an increasing gap between the availability of electricity and its demand, a fresh power cut schedule came into force in the Valley from last Sunday.

According to the new schedule, the areas where electronic meters are in place, there would be only 17 hours of power cut per week. However, in the areas where no meters are installed, the daily power cut has been increased by one hour from eight to nine hours.

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Another teacher in paper controversy
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 27
After two professors faced charges, one for setting up an alleged anti-establishment question paper and the other for an “obscene” paper, yet another teacher has created a controversy by setting a question paper asking questions about “selfish leaders” who divide people on the basis of religion.

A passage in the English question paper of the second year read, “Today, we need true religion the most. It teaches us to worship God and love His creation. It fills us with humility, kindness and mercy. But unfortunately, these days we fight one another in the name of religion. Some of our selfish leaders provoke uneducated and naïve people. They defame religion. Dr Iqbal has rightly said religion does not teach hatred.”

Some teachers say that this question paper was pro-government, as it was aimed to appease the government.

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102 ultras active in region: IG
Archit Watts
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
The IG, Jammu zone, Dilbagh Singh said today that the operations launched by the state police to curb militancy in the Jammu region had proved successful this year and only 102 militants were surviving.

The IG said the police with the help of the security forces, especially the Army, had succeeded in wiping out a large number of militants and only 102 listed militants were still active, besides some non-listed militants.

“As per the figures, there is a drastic fall in the number of active militants. At present, 102 militants are active in the region. The police has done a good job in curbing militancy this year,” said Dilbagh Singh.

On the sidelights of a press conference at the Police Control Room (PCR) here today, the IG said almost all militant outfits had been wiped out and now they were desperately making fresh strategies for their revival.

While talking about the strategy to curb the militancy, the IG said the police had been directed to interact more and more with the people in their areas. “Our jawans are also regularly in contact with chowkidars, lambardars and other people to get some inputs from them, besides getting reports from the intelligence agencies,” told the IG.

He added that at present almost all militant outfits were dependent on their overground workers. “These overground workers are the backbone of militancy, as they not only arrange finances for the militants, but also assist them in locating hideouts,” said the IG.

Particularly talking about women overground workers active in the region, the IG could not provide the details.

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Arms seized in Rajouri
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Security forces seized a rich haul of arms and ammunition from the Kathunia area of Rajouri district today. Official sources said acting upon reliable intelligence inputs the Infantry Territorial Army and troops of 38 Rashtriya Rifles of the Romeo Force launched a joint search operation along with the police in the Kathunia area in Rajouri. During the search of the thick forest area, the troops seized a huge cache of arms, ammunition and warlike stores from a hideout covered with foliage.

The seizure included one pistol (Pakistan made), two AK-47 magazines, 102 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 32 electronic detonating devices, 10 rounds of PIKA ammunition, 40 grenades of automatic grenade launcher, 14 rounds of MGL, three remote controlled IEDs, one kg of IED explosives, nine Chinese grenades, one Pakistan-made grenade and other warlike stores.

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Infighting in Congress intensifies
Pro-Soz leaders camp in Delhi to counter rivals
Dinesh Manhotra
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
After maintaining silence for quite some time, the warring factions in the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) have intensified their campaigns against each other.

While a group of leaders, who owe allegiance to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, has sounded the high command about, what they called, the prevailing chaos and mismanagement in the party, the pro-Soz faction has also become active in countering the “vicious” campaign against their leader. The pro-Soz faction has launched a counterattack on the pro-Azad faction and charged it with indulging in anti-party activities.

As a majority of the leaders had gathered to attend the plenary session of the party, the rival faction led by Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha member Choudhary Lal Singh met with the Congress high command in New Delhi and sought action to “protect” the party in the state. The Pro-Azad faction alleged that “loyal” Congress workers had been sidelined by the PCC chief and some detractors known for changing parties were being projected.

After the plenary session, this faction comprising more than 24 senior leaders had extended their stay in the Union Capital to meet with all party leaders. Insiders in the party said during their two-day stay in New Delhi, this faction had meetings with senior leaders of the party. It had also prepared a chargesheet against PCC chief Saifuddin Soz. Besides targeting Soz, it was demanding action against state Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma for his controversial statement at Bani in Kathua some days ago.

Exuding confidence that action would be taken against Soz and Sham Lal Sharma in the days to come, a senior pro-Azad faction leader told The Tribune that they had thoroughly discussed the matter with Defence Minister AK Antony, who is also the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the party.

To counter the campaign launched by the pro-Azad faction, the pro-Soz faction has also become active for the last one week. Some leaders of the faction are camping in New Delhi to counter the “malicious” campaign launched by the rival faction.

A close confident of Soz said some senior party leaders would visit New Delhi in a couple of days to inform the high command about the activities of the pro-Azad faction. The pro-Soz faction has also decided to organise a series of rallies in different parts of the Jammu region to counter the rival faction.

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Lecturers’ forum to work on Prof Shaan’s contributions
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
The All J&K Plus 2 Lecturers’ Forum has constituted the Prof Jaswant Singh Shaan Memorial Committee to work on the contributions and sacrifices of the leader of Plus 2 lecturers.

According to a statement issued here, HD Qureshi, state president of the forum, today announced the constitution of the committee at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Nanak Nagar, where hundreds of people had assembled yo pay homage to the departed soul.

The committee would be headed by Gurcharan Singh, Principal and co-chairperson of the forum. Besides, it would have Manmeet Bali, Gurvinder Singh, Nath Ram while Kiranjeet Kour and Talib Hussain would work on the life and contribution of Prof Shaan with special focus on his sacrifices towards the Plus 2 cadre teachers.

Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi paid rich tribute to Prof Shaan and highlighted his contribution in the field of education particularly for the uplift of the Plus 2 cadre.

Qureshi announced that the forum would release a special edition of its magazine “Uddaan” in the honour of Prof Shaan and appealed to the members of the forum to contribute articles on the life of Prof Shaan for publication in the magazine for the knowledge of the new generation.

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Bad weather hits air, rail services
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Rail and air traffic were disrupted today as dense fog enveloped most parts of north India. The movement of trains was also affected by the agitation launched by Gujjars in Rajasthan.

Sources said the flight of a private airline from Jammu to Srinagar was cancelled due to the bad weather. The flight, which was scheduled to reach Jammu this morning at 10.15, arrived at 4.45 pm, about 6 hours behind schedule.

Instead of moving towards Srinagar, the flight straightaway returned to New Delhi at 5.30 pm.

The SP, Jammu Airport, ML Mehra, told the Tribune today that the Jammu-to-Srinagar flight of the private airline was cancelled due to the bad weather.

Though most of the trains were delayed due to fog and the prevailing situation in Rajasthan, no official from the Railways was ready to give details about the arrival and departure of the trains.

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Gujjar leader joins BJP
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Gujjar leader Choudhary Noor Mohammed, an active Congress worker from Gandoh-Balessa tehsil of Doda district, joined the BJP in the presence of state BJP president Shamsher Singh Manhas and other leaders at the party headquarters here today.

Welcoming Choudhary Noor into the party, Manhas said after the successful Ekta Sankalp Rally a change had been noticed in a majority of ground-level activists of even ruling parties, as they had realised that the BJP was the real voice of the people of far-flung, neglected and undeveloped areas. He said it was the BJP that had been agitating on a number of important issues like discrimination against people of Jammu, including Muslims of the region. “Again, it is the BJP which is opposing tooth and nail the anti-constitutional utterances of the Chief Minister and the policy to rehabilitate the militants,” Manhas claimed.

Choudhary Noor said the Congress had deviated from its principles and the present ministers and MLAs of the party were promoting the cause of their families and relatives. BJP leaders, including Yudhvir Sethi, Dalip Singh Parihar, Swami Raj Sharma, Mehjoor Ahmed, Raj Singh Kotwal, Rajiv Charak, Arun Chibber, were present on the occasion. 

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Militants recruiting women in Kashmir
Tejinder Singh Sodhi
Tribune News Service

Sopore (Baramulla), December 27
Militant groups active in north Kashmir, especially the Lashkar-e-Toiba, are recruiting a large number of women as overground workers to help them carry out militancy-related activities in the area.
Arms and ammunition, seized from militants by the police in north Kashmir, on display at Sopore on Monday
Arms and ammunition, seized from militants by the police in north Kashmir, on display at Sopore on Monday. Photo: Amin War

“We came to know this after we arrested a hardcore woman overground worker of militants, Raja Begum, from Sopore. She had given shelter to militants in her house. Another hardcore woman worker of the militants is still absconding and 20 others have been identified,” said DIG of Police, north Kashmir Range, Muneer Khan.

He said these overground workers were helping the militants in carrying out militancy-related activities. “They do everything for militants, from transporting them from one place to another to providing them courier services, and giving them shelter,” Khan said.

Regarding the five-month unrest in the Valley, Khan said they had ample proof that militants and separatists were sponsoring stone throwing. “We arrested an Imam of a local Jama Masjid, who disclosed that he used to pay Rs 400 each to stone throwers every Friday, and the money used to be collected from fruit growers. On his disclosures more arrests are likely to be made,” the DIG said.

He said the police also arrested Firdous Ahmad, who disclosed that there was a nexus between government employees and the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat Conference and they planned attacks on the security forces.

“On his disclosures we recovered a cache of arms and ammunition that was used to attack the security forces during stone throwing. He even revealed that top commanders of the Lashkar-e-Toiba like Kaleem-ullah and Abdullah Uni, too, used to participate in stone throwing on the security forces,” Khan said.

He added the year 2010 was a successful year for the police in Sopore district as far as counterinsurgency operations were concerned. “This year we gunned down 26 hardcore militants, 21 of them foreigners. We also arrested 12 militants, including one foreigner, and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition, literature, and other provocative material,” he said.

Khan said as a large portion of the Line of Control (LoC) falls under his area of operation, he had “reliable intelligence information” that militant training camps and launching pads were active across the LoC.

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NCC inculcates discipline, camaraderie: Governor
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Describing the NCC as the premier national organisation for imparting defence-oriented training to the country’s youth, the Governor, NN Vohra, said the organisation inculcated discipline and esprit de corps among the youth and enabled them to shape their careers.

The discipline and capacity to work together under the command of a leader makes the NCC trainees successful in dealing with varied situations in their lives. The Governor was addressing a contingent of 103 NCC cadets of Jammu and Kashmir, who called on him at the Raj Bhavan here this morning. These Cadets would represent the state at the Republic Day NCC Camp in New Delhi, and would proceed to the National capital on December 29.

Referring to a recent meeting with the Director General, NCC, in New Delhi, the Governor observed that it was a matter of great satisfaction that over the past few years the NCC had grown significantly in its strength, enrolment, having crossed the 13 lakh mark.

He said the youth, which constituted an overwhelming and the most important component of this country’s population, had enormous potential to take India to the pinnacle of economic prosperity and glory. He added that the NCC could play a vital role in inculcating in them a sense of discipline, camaraderie and the capacity to work together. “You are fortunate to be a part of the NCC, a great national organisation, and whatever vocation you choose, you will have the advantage of being in the NCC. And, in any emerging situation you will be able to mobilise others to deal with it effectively”, the Governor told the cadets.

The Governor observed that the NCC also provided an excellent opening for the cadets to join the defence services. In this context, he said the number of women officers in all three defence services had also grown since their initial induction about two decades back.

The Governor said the quality of performance of the NCC cadets from the state in various competitions in the past few years, had been of a very high order.

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Tributes paid to socialist leader
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Rich tributes were paid to veteran socialist leader late Surendra Mohan at a condolence meeting yesterday jointly organised by the Janata Dal (S), Janata Dal (U), Socialist Front, Samajwadi Party and the Yusuf Meherally Centre, J&K Unit, under the presidentship of Balraj Puri, a renowned socialist.

According to a statement issued here, Puri said Surendra Mohan was a combination of intellect, dedication and activism, a rarity in today’s public life.

He regretted that Surendra Mohan died at a time when with the decline of Leftist parties, particularly in their strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala, he was playing a crucial role in fulfilling the vacuum by consolidating the socialist forces.

Dhanraj Bhargotra of the Janata Dal (S) also threw light on the life and works of Surendra Mohan as a torchbearer of socialism.

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Natrang honours two artistes
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
Natrang honoured two artistes Arvind Anand and Vijay Sharma with the Lifetime Achievement award. While Arvind Anand won the award for his contribution to acting, Vijay Sharma was honoured for his contribution as an offstage worker of Natrang.

According to a statement issued here, the honours were conferred on them by Governor NN Vohra at the Zorawar Singh Auditorium, University of Jammu, in a function organised by Natrang and AIRCEL.

Arvind Anand is one of the most celebrated actors of Jammu who has given a new dimension to the art of acting through his electrifying performance, versatility and excellence. He in the last 30 years has acted in over 37 plays as the lead actor and directed three plays. For films and serials, he acted as the lead performer in 22 tele-films and 123 TV serials.

He has participated in over 200 plays of Radio Kashmir, Jammu, and the All India Radio. Adjudged the best actor by the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages on numerous occasions, Arvind Anand has the credit of participating in over 20 national theatre festivals as the lead actor of Natrang, Jammu. His performance in the play ‘Bawa Jitto’ will be remembered.

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Six snatchers held, stolen items recovered
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 27
The Jammu police today claimed to have busted a gang of snatchers and arrested six persons active in criminal activities in the city. The police has also recovered some stolen items from their possession.

The police said the modus operandi of the gang was to look for youngsters who were in need of money, and involve them in criminal activities. The arrested persons have been identified as Rajiv Kumar Sharma, alias Abral, a resident of Subash Nagar; Sohan Singh Jamwal, alias Sonu, a resident of Toph Sherkhania; Arvind Singh Manhas, a resident of Shiv Nagar; Joginder Kumar, alias Chhotu, a resident of Subash Nagar; Vishal Singh, a resident of Shiv Nagar; and Taryson, a resident of Rehari.

It said seven chains, four cellphones, three motorcycles and five purses were recovered from their possession, which they had snatched from Sarwal, Janipur, Bakshi Nagar and Rehari areas in the recent past.

The SP, City(North), JS Johar, and the SDPO (West), SK Chowhan, led the team that arrested the accused. The police said it was investigating the matter. In another incident, the driver of a minibus was arrested for stealing fuel from other vehicles in the Talab Tillo area here. The accused has been identified as Gopal Singh, a resident of Chatha, here. The police is investigating the matter.

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